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Co-Production Platform: Dutch projects take the floor


- Among the titles featured are coming-of-age dramas, family thrillers, fiction-tinged docs and a mainstream comedy

Co-Production Platform: Dutch projects take the floor
Director Erik de Bruyn’s new project, entitled Shards of Us, is adapted from Erik de Graaf’s graphic novel Scherven

After the pitching sessions for international projects held on Friday 25 September (read more), on Saturday morning the Holland Film Meeting (HFM) hosted the public presentations of six Dutch projects competing in the event’s Co-Production Platform. The eclectic slate of titles was presented to producers, distributors and sales agents who attended the pitching sessions, followed by individual meetings.

Coming-of-age and youth-related themes were topics shared by three of the six pitched projects. Dutch-Turkish director Mete Gümürhan pitched MNK Boy, whose script – at the early writing stage – is loosely based on his own childhood. The story is told by a 12-year-old boy, and tackles issues such as family, multiculturalism and integration. Kaliber Film, which has partnered up with Topkapi Films (Netherlands) and Filmayi (Turkey), is looking for European co-producers.

Producer Jelle Nesna (Rinkel Film) described Unknown Family as a “coming-of-age drama with hints of thriller”. The film, to be directed by Ron Termaat, follows a Dutch girl who attends her father’s funeral in Mexico and ends up being kidnapped by half-brothers whose existence she was not even aware of. Mexican-based Itaca Films is on board as a co-producer.

Shards of Us is a Submarine production adapted from Erik de Graaf’s graphic novel Scherven, currently at the development stage. Producer Janneke van de Kerkhof underlined the focus on character development – centring on young people about to have their lives changed drastically – rather than on the historical recreation of the pre-WWII era. Erik de Bruyn, whose latest film, J Kessels [+see also:
film review
film profile
, opened the Netherlands Film Festival last Wednesday, is attached as the director.

Screenwriter Daan Gielis and producer Danielle Guirguis (Smarthouse Films) also went on stage to pitch Le Voyeur. The movie, to be directed by Berend and Roel Boorsma, is a psychological drama revolving around a DJ returning to Brittany to attend his father’s funeral. A classic family get-together is the occasion for old, unresolved stories to emerge, forcing the lead character to take control of his life for the first time in years. Currently in development, the project has a total budget of €1,045,000. Co-producers, funders and broadcasters are invited to contribute and get on board.

Bea de Visser pitched her project Turn, based on the life of Dutch gymnastic legend-turned-webcam girl Verona van de Leur. Produced by KeyDocs, Turn will be a documentary with fictional elements, with a total budget of €410,000.

Finally, Bobby Boermans pitched Waltzing Matilde as a “broad, commercial and politically incorrect comedy for younger audiences”, to be shot in Dutch, German and English. Production outfit Bos Bros is setting up a co-production, which is already backed by the Netherlands Film Fund’s development fund and by Creative Europe’s Slate Funding.

Several other Dutch projects that have previously participated in the HFM Co-Production Platform have recently become success stories, including Peter Greenaway’s delirious Mexican adventure Eisenstein in Guanajuato [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Peter Greenaway
film profile
, Raf ReyntjensParadise Trips [+see also:
interview: Raf Reyntjens
film profile
and Erik de Bruyn’s J Kessels

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